Navratri is a greatest Hindu festival also known as Durga puja. The word Navratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti / Devi are worshiped. The festival celebrates life, culture, traditions and customs. The festival is celebrated all over India and has different rituals and festivities especially in Indian states of West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka or Gujarat.
It is celebrated in different ways and traditions. I love Navratri and literally wait for playing Garba ( Gujarati folk dance). I am not best at it but love to watch others playing in speed and synchronization. I love the vibrant colors and jewelry of traditional costume . Many traditional garbas are performed around centrally lit lamp or a picture or statue of the Goddess Shakti.
Many people also observe the ritualistic Navratri vrat or fast by not eating grains, pulses, non-vegetarian food and alcohol. Fasting has been linked to many health benefits, from weight loss to a reduced risk for certain diseases and better mental health.
Perhaps, a healthy fasting is possible by eating the right foods in the right proportion. Hence, creating a well-balanced meal plan during the fasting period, reducing oil and potato is important as fasting( vrat) food is generally around it.
These Sabudana vadas are made with sago pearls and sweet potato/yam giving it a healthy version. I have avoided using roasted peanut, as it increases the oil content in recipe.I have reduced quantity of potatoes and added sweet potato/ Yam. Addition of lemon juice, ginger and green chillies balances the sweet taste of sweet potato and making it spicy, sweet and sour vadas to relish upon with minimum oil.
For fasting also check other recipes on this blog:
- 1 Cup Sago pearls/ tapioca pearls/ sabudana before soaking
- 1 Cup boiled and mashed sweet potato
- 1 Cup boiled and mashed potato
- 1 Tsp crushed green chilies
- 1 Tsp crushed ginger
- 1 Tsp black pepper powder
- 1/2 Tsp cumin powder
- Rock salt/ Sendha namak used for fasting
- 1 Tsp lemon juice
Rinse Sago pearls 2-3 times or wash them in a strainer under running cold water. For soaking pearls my trick is to add water 1/2 inch above the level of sabudana. Soak them for at-least 3-4 hours or overnight according to your type of sabudana.
It will become more than double in size after soaking. They will be nice fluffy and when you press between your fingers it should mash easily. This is the way to know that sabudana is soaked properly. In case you have more water left, keep them in colander for half an hours to drain water.
In a bowl, combine potato mashed, sweet potato and soaked sabudana. Add in spices -ginger-garlic, salt, cumin powder, black pepper and lemon juice. Mix all ingredients nicely. If its sticky and loose then add little arrowroot powder. I was able to roll properly without adding it. It will depend upon the moisture present in sago pearls and sweet potato.
For avoiding deep frying use a non stick appam pan. Heat it on medium- low flame and add drop of oil in each indentations/circles. Reduce the heat to low and place sabudana balls in each circle. Cover and cook on low flame approximately 5 minutes or more, for proper cooking from inside.Turn with help of wooden spoon and add a drop of oil and cover and cook it on low flame on other side. Ensure to cook on low flame till vadas are crisp and golden brown on outside. When done remove on plate and there is no excess oil So no need of tissue. 😊 Repeat the process with other batch of vadas. I was able to make 16-17 small size vadas.
Enjoy healthy and tasty sabudana vadas during fasting. I have paired it with spicy curd to give more kick to sweet potato sabudana vadas.
- There should be less water in boiled sweet potato and potato. Remove them from water after boiling. If left, it absorbs more moisture.
- Cooking on low flame is a must.
- Appam pan should be non-stick one. It reduces the use of oil.
- I have not shaped perfect round as its difficult to cook on sides. And it gives the shape of small patty.
- Enjoy Garba with healthy eating during Vrat. Keep yourself hydrated during fasting.